As their 25th anniversary approaches art-rock band The Church, having recently returned from international touring, are continuing to push the boundaries of what a rock band should be.
Since the release of his Alligator Records debut Racin’ The Devil, bassist/vocalist/songwriter (and Stray Cats co-founder) Lee Rocker’s solo career has been skyrocketing. Publications from USA Today to Billboard and The New York Times raved about the undeniable power and foot-stomping fun of Rocker’s Americana-based roots rock. OffBeat declared, “What’s most satisfying about Lee Rocker is his ability to graft classic Sun licks and shuffles onto Americana. He bridges the gap between Bruce Springsteen and Hank Williams, Sr.” Bass Player magazine simply said, “He absolutely kills.” Lee’s live shows, fueled by his barnstorming, rocking band, grow wilder each night out. And now, on the heels of the national Stray Cats 2007 summer reunion tour, Lee Rocker is back with his second Alligator album, Black Cat Bone.
The Chicago Tribune describes Rocker’s playing as “muscular and passionate.” The Washington Post says his music consists of “impressive, catchy, driving original songs, frantic romps, finger-snapping swing and brooding slow blues.” Rolling Stone declares, “Lee Rocker’s singing naturally captures the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. His catchy, well-written songs are very difficult to get out of your head.”
Slim Jim Phantom has secured his place as a true rock n roll icon.
|As the legendary drummer for the Stray Cats Phantom, alongside band mates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker, spearheaded the neo-rockabilly movement of the early 80s. With a love for 50s rock n roll the Stray Cats took inspiration from the bygone era and mixed with their youthful energy and aggression produced the updated hard-edged rockabilly sound that saw them conquer London, Europe and later the US, gaining fans among the likes of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Robert Plant along the way.|
To experience some of the best live music Australia has to offer this Labour Day long weekend, there’s only one place to be – The Caxton Street Seafood Festival.
This year’s Festival will be held on Sunday 4 May 2008, and along with delicious seafood, wine and beer, there’s a sight and sound for every musical palate.
There’s a massive amount of locally home-grown talent on offer including the likes of Nik Phillips, Nina May, DJ Jimmy Z, the infectiously manic Butterfingers and electro tinged rock band, Elation.
The eclectic mix also includes indie rocker Diana Anaid, jazz diva Grace Knight and trio and Sydney based hip hop and beats label, Urthboy.
For four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater depths of mystery and meaning as time goes on. His songs have set a virtually unmatched standard in their seriousness and range. Sex, spirituality, religion, power – he has relentlessly examined the largest issues in human lives, always with a full appreciation of how elusive answers can be to the vexing questions he raises. But those questions, and the journey he has traveled in seeking to address them, are the ever-shifting substance of his work, as well as the reasons why his songs never lose their overwhelming emotional force.
His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), announced him as an undeniable major talent. It includes such songs as “Suzanne,” “Sisters of Mercy,” “So Long, Marianne” and “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Good,” all now longstanding classics. If Cohen had never recorded another album, his daunting reputation would have been assured by this one alone.
However, the two extraordinary albums that followed, Songs From a Room (1969), which includes his classic song, “Bird on the Wire,” and Songs of Love and Hate (1971), provided whatever proof anyone may have required that that the greatness of his debut was not a fluke. (All three albums are reissued in April, 2007.)
Black Mustang have quickly established themselves as one of Brisbane’s most undeniably exhilarating new bands. Having developed an explosive live set with teenage kicks and manic pop thrills, their sound veers from rambunctious garage rock n roll to grungy blues-infected dynamos. Black mustangs sheer sonic momentum, combined with their intelligent use of melody, displays a maturity far beyond the band’s tender years. Powerful emotions, spanning from love and lust to fear and frustration are ever present. In short, Black Mustang provides a roller coaster ride of unashamed, delirious rock n roll.
An estimated 200,000 visitors are expected to attend the 12th annual Buddha Birth Day Festival. The Festival is a signature cultural event for Queensland and is now one of the largest Buddhist celebrations in the world.
Endorsing this year’s theme of “Harmony in All”, the Festival promotes a peaceful existence and appreciation of Australia’s multicultural identity and focuses on generating community and individual ‘respect for life’.
Spread over 12 locations throughout the South Bank Parklands, the Buddha Birth Day Festival involves over 700 volunteers, 300 performers, 200 events, 2 performance stages, a fireworks display, 21 information and meditation sessions including 2 multi-faith forums, 18 Cultural, Art and Environmental activities for the children, a Children’s Amusement Area with a number of rides, an Art Exhibition, an organised Festival tour for over 1,000 school children, 50 food and merchandise stalls and 4 Official functions including the Opening Ceremony on Saturday night.
[photo: Stuart Blythe]
Youthful naivety can produce flashes of rock & roll excitement, but genuine experience and the passage of time can turn a good band into a truly great one. Now, more than a decade on from when the young Fremantle trio leapt onto the national stage, Eskimo Joe are taking a big, bold step towards music greatness.
On the eve of releasing their fourth album, the horizon has broadened. Band members Kav Temperley, Stu MacLeod and Joel Quartermain, have never been ones who ascribe to the status quo and consequently have proven there’s a whole world of possibilities to explore – if you simply follow your heart, listen to your muse and make the most of your talent.
Their third album, Black Fingernails, Red Wine, was a brazen step forward for a band borne of a scene that doesn’t always encourage grand statements. This dark edgy collection of songs was a monumental leap forward and landed the band not only quadruple platinum sales, but a number #1 charting album along with industry accolades with four ARIA Awards’>ARIA Awards in Australia. Consequently their world expanded.
Eskimo Joe landed a US Record deal with the respected Rykodisc, and proceeded to explore new territory. Humility coupled with a huge dynamic on-stage performance, elevated the band in the minds and hearts of locals. Their sheer perseverance from starting at the beginning again in a notoriously tough market, generated a solid base of fans.
The culmination of this international touring experience has creatively given way to new material for album number four. Looking to further shake-up their methodology, Eskimo Joe have now enlisted the assistance of world renowned English Producer, Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies, Echo and the Bunnymen). While Black Fingernails, Red Wine was an award winning first attempt at self-production, this time, the trio have openly embraced the challenge of outside perspectives.
A background of bold production brushstrokes cleverly reflecting material that has, thematically, just as much personality on display, Eskimo Joe aim to further showcase developments in their songwriting on the forthcoming album. Through previous award-winning albums, A Song Is A City and Black Fingernails, Red Wine, this consistent aspiration is vividly evident.
|Now more than ever at home in their own skin, the trio raise the bar set by past albums with the forthcoming album number four. The songs move to a brighter, dynamic mood reflecting both recent events in both their personal lives and on a universal front without abandoning the everlasting desire of forward movement. Unashamed emotion and unguarded personality envelope every track.
So, after ten years together, lesser bands may ponder what roads are left to travel… Eskimo Joe actively embrace the wide-open road before them earnestly and proudly, while being not afraid to try some roads less traveled along the way.
The GreazeFest is Australia’s annual kustom kulture weekender celebrating rockabilly and psychobilly music, custom cars, vintage bikes and lowriders, pinstriping, low brow artwork, dancing, fashion, and other cool stuff born in the 1950s.
Now in it’s ninth year, the GreazeFest has become a yearly pilgrimage for rockabilly and kustom kulture fans from all parts of the globe.
Held at Souths, West End – Brisbane, Australia between July 31 and August 3, 2008.
In the lead up to the NRL season, the WOW Brisbane Broncos held their annual Fan Day at Roma Street Parklands. The day saw the entire Broncos first grade squad meet their fans for autographs, photographs and a game or two of touch footy.
Links: Brisbane Broncos Site
Photos: Photoset on Flickr
Davies Park in Brisbanes’ West End held host to the first Full Moon Fire Fest for 2008.
Brisbane rock band Upsize totally rocked the Basement Bar to over a crowd of a 1000. Upsize are playing gigs around Brisbane promoting their debut CD West End Delicacy . They were the perfect band to get the crowd worked up in anticipation of The Radiators and The Angels performances. Upsize’s performance was outstanding, playing all the songs off their debut CD plus a few others which had the crowd jumping and yelling for more!
When The Radiators hit the stage, a wave of people surged forward. If it wasn’t for the guardrail the band would have been engulfed completely. The crowd varied in ages, from late teens to mid to late sixties. The Radiators had everyone nodding, feet tapping, jumping up and down as well as singing along. Everyone, no matter what age, appeared to know all the words to all the songs.
The Radiators started with a few of their slower and older classics like Summer Holiday , and by the time they started playing You Gimme Head , you couldn’t hear the band over the crowd singing. After decades of playing live gigs, The Radiators continue to wow their audience with an adrenaline filled performance.
The Angels. What more can be said? The name itself makes you want to bow down low and chant “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!” The Angels have a repertoire spanning nearly 3 decades with countless hits including Take A Long Line, After The Rain, Mr Damage, Straight Jacket and their first major hit Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again? , which were all performed to the delight of the audience. All that experience has been polished to the extent that you almost feel that you’re listening to the CD.
Friday night was surreal. Not only did we have more Australian rock’n’roll history than you could poke a stick at, the rock’n’roll was picked up and carried forward into the present by Upsize. As I said at the beginning of the review, Rock shall never die!
The Gin Club are a Brisbane-based musical collective who have been performing since 2003. Their self-titled debut album, recently released through Plus One Records and distributed by Reverberation is an eclectic mix of traditional folk, blues and country styles, featuring five distinctive song-writing voices backed by cello, accordion, piano, acoustic and electric guitar, drums, harmonica and saxophone. Their influences include Hank Williams, The Band, Bob Dylan, Crowded House, and Neil Young. Live, they often perform covers by Will Oldham, Spiritualized and The Rolling Stones.
The Gin Club have performed extensively throughout Brisbane and have recently completed a tour of New South Wales with Sydney’s theredsunband. Their growing reputation as a powerful live act has seen them gain support slots for international artists Papa M and Iron & Wine, and Australian heroes You Am I. They have also been featured in TripleJ’s Aus Music month program as part of the ‘next crop’ of Australian artists.
Buy Now! Available from Plus One Records
Fear Of The Sea
Buy Now! Available from or Plus One Records
Gabriel + Drugflowers
Buy Now! Available on or Plus One Records
Buy Now! Available on or Plus One Records